Terry Riley's Original Scores

Terry Riley’s printed music is now available directly from G. Schirmer and Associated Music Publishers.
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Calligraphic Scores

Rainbow In Curved Air Calligraphies (1968)
6 pages of calligraphic scores created in 1968 right after the historic recording of that work for CBS records. This is the only form that this composition is available in. Printed on card stock and each cover lettered and signed by the composer.
Although it is conceivable that a performance could be manifested from these pages, the intention was more to capture visually the sound of the music.

String Quartets

String Quartet 1960

Written while Terry was a Grad Student as UC Berkeley and creating Fluxus type concerts with fellow "enfante terrible" La Monte Young and influenced by Young's "Stasis" theories.....This is an early misty work that works only in the soft dynamic range. It is inspired by the sounds of 1950's fog horns drifting up from San Francisco Bay to Terry and Ann's Potrero Hill home. This quartet tries to capture the seemingly random interaction these foghorns produced.

The first quartet written for Kronos and one of Riley's most lyrical and popular works. It can be heard on their Gramavision CD and the 25th anniversary Nonesuch recording.

Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector
A high energy and lyrical modal quartet , the modular structure of which, allows the players to make important decisions affecting the overall shape of the work.

The Wheel/Mythic Birds Waltz
Recorded by Kronos on Gramavision records this is a quartet that contains both a beautiful ballad (the Wheel) and the pulsing rhythms of India in the contrapuntal Mythic Birds Waltz.........

Cadenza on the Night Plain
Recorded by Kronos on Gramavision and also re-recorded for their 25th anniversary Nonesuch release, this epic quartet features cadenzas for each player that are subsequently elaborated on by the ensemble. This work was written as a tribute honoring Native American culture............

Salome Dances For Peace (part 1)
Riley's largest work for string quartet can be found on Nonesuch records as recorded by Kronos. Part one starts with the Anthem of the Great Spirit and ends with the section "Half-Wolf Dances Mad in Moonlight.

Conquest of the War Demons
This quartet, the second in the five quartet cycle, SALOME DANCES FOR PEACE. The longest and most complex quartet in the Salome cycle is a powerfully driving work strongly colored with the melodic and rhythmic inflections of India, written more than 20 years ago. It still remains one of the greatest achievements among the string quartets so far written by Riley.

The Gift
This quartet is the 3rd in the Salome cycle and opens with the canonic Echos of Primordial Time, sonic waves of melismatic patterns built on eastern scales. It also contains the well known 11 beat composition MONGOLIAN WINDS which closes the movement.

The Ecstacy
THE ECSTACY is possibly Terry's greatest quartet, most certainly ranking up there with the other Salome Dances for Peace quartets and Requiem for Adam.

Salome Dances for Peace (Good Medicine) The last Quartet and joyous conclusion of the 5 quartet group comprising Salome Dances for Peace.

Requiem for Adam
A monumental 40 minute quartet in three movements, written to honor the memory of Adam Harrington, son of Kronos founder and leader, David Harrington. Recorded on Nonesuch by Kronos.

Saxophone Quartets

Chanting the Light of Foresight

Saxophone Quartet commissioned and written for Rova. Recorded by Rova on New Albion, it features an opening section in Just intonation. There are 5 movements the 3rd was written by Rova.

Mandala Miniatures
15 miniature (and not so miniature) pieces for saxophone quartet written in 1999. While on tour in Europe I was trying to write one miniature a day. The idea was to create spontaneously with as little editorial interference as possible. They were written at the instigation of saxophonist Susan Fancher.

Assassin Reverie
For Saxophone Quartet, is a stage work that includes some theatrical effects and stobe lighting.
It begins with a jazz like ballade that weaves it's way up to the "freak out" moment when the assassination begins and then ends quietly with the ballade.

Chamber Music

The Cusp of Magic

A haunting five movement work written for Kronos Quartet and Wu Man, Pipa, with live toy sounds and a CD backing track. You can hear a performance on the Nonesuch CD of the same title.

El Hombre
String Quartet and Piano was Commissioned by the city of Zurich for Werner Bartcshi and the Amati String Quartet. It is in one movement with themes of Spanish flavor and powerful rhythmic sequences.

Ritmos and Melos
Piano, Violin and Percussion was Commissioned by and written for Abel Steinberg Winant Trio. Two movements. A rhythmically driving first movement and a highly lyrical second.

Four Woelfli Portraits
Commissioned and written for the California E.A.R. unit These are concert versions of pieces from The Saint Adolf Ring, a chambre opera based on the work of the great outsider artist Adolf Woelfli. It is in four Movements and scored for Flute,Clarinets/Saxophone, Violin, Cello, Piano and Two Percussion plus narrator.

Piano Four Hands

Cinco de Mayo

Piano 4-hands ...is a work in one movement with infectious swirling latin melodies and rhythms.

Jaztine a gift for my foster child Jaztine Murillo
I tried to get some child like joy into this one, interrupted suddenly at one point by a heavily trodding march of elephants ceremoniously dressed in Thai rainments.

Waltz for Charismas
Memories of my early life playing Arnold Schonberg's piano music got me started here with waltz's that dance in not only three beats, but sometimes seven and nine.

Tango Doble Ladiado
This is a short rewrite of the little tango originally written for the Cantos Desiertos part of the Book of Abbeyozzud

Etude from the Old Country
A four handed braid from Terry's made up songs from an imaginary old country...or not.

Solo Piano

Keyboard Studies One and Two

Seminal works from the 1960's which defined the style of minamalism in keyboard playing.

The Heaven Ladder Book 7
Five works for Piano recorded by Gloria Cheng on Telarc, this is Riley's only through notated solo piano music.

The Walrus in Memorium
Written for Aki Takahashi and recorded by her on her EMI Beatles series, this works is based on John Lennon's I am the Walrus with a Tatum-esque slant.

Works for Guitar


This is a large work in progress that at it's completion will have a total of 26 pieces for guitar, that, for the most part, bear a distinct Spanish flavor. There are also works for guitar duo, multiple guitars and guitar in ensemble with other instruments. Originally the series was planned to include a piece for every letter of the Spanish alphabet but since the title of the series is a made up word signifying A to Z, I have taken the liberty to include other made up words for titles.

Terry's first guitar work, written for David Tanenbaum and recorded on New Albion by the artist. Ascencion is based on some of the themes of Mythic Birds Waltz with a totally new viewpoint. This is the first of 26 pieces for guitar and guitar ensemble contained in The book of Abbeyozzud. This score is published together with Barabas. (below)


Also written for Tanenbaum and recorded by him on New Albion. A craggy contrapuntal work with moments of soaring lyricism is also from the book of Abbeyozzud.

For 2 guitars, written For the legendary Assad duo. It has been performed often by them on the 1998 season. It is recorded by David Tanenbaum and Gyan Riley on New Albion.

Dias de Los Muertos
Two pieces for Guitar and Percussion which soulfully contemplate the themes of death, recorded by David Tanenbaum and Willy Winant on New Albion.

For Flute and Guitar or Violin and Guitar. Five pieces which are part of the larger work, THE BOOK OF ABBEYOZZUD Can be heard in the version for Vla/Vln and Guitar on New Albion Records on the CD titled, THE BOOK OF ABBEYOZZUD. Please specify Flute and Guitar or Violin and Guitar

Y BOLANZERO for guitar ensemble
Y Bolanzero is is for a large guitar ensemble ( written in 7 parts and for an ensemble of 28 or more guitars) and is part of the Book of Abbeyozzud series.
Y Bolanzero is almost entirely written in the repetitive sequence of 6+5 beats and only at the end it shifts to a stretto in 7 beats. The entire material, the Oriental sounding melodies as well as the floating harmonies which do not seem to want to settle on a single center are derived from the scale (ascending A-Bb-C#-E=F-G-A and descending A-G-F-E-C#-C natural Bb-A-Cl)
This has a scalic relationship to the North Indian Raga, Madhuvanti.
Y Bolanzero is written for guitars and electric guitar and electric bass guitar.

PIEDAD for solo guitar
Piedad written in 1995 as an 18th birthday present for Terry's son, guitarist Gyan Riley, is a haunting solo work with harmonic, polyphonic and melodic relationships evoking Piazolla and Bach.

Works for String Orchestra


for String Orchestra Dancer and Pre-recorded taped exotic percussion was commissioned by the Manca festival in Nice France.

Half-Wolf Dances Mad in Moonlight
A String Orchestra arrangement of the closing section of Part 1 from Salome Dances for Peace.

Orchestral Works

For Orchestra and Chorus, commissioned by the Koussevitsky Music Foundation.
A setting of four choruses from THE MEXICO CITY BLUES of Jack Kerouac.

"Terry Riley's June Buddha’s comes from the same deep mind-heart as the choruses of Jack Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues. Together, the complimentary match is Dharma."-Poet Michael McClure

For large orchestra and synthesizers, commissioned by Carnegie Hall for the 100th Anniversary season. Seven Movements , approximately 50 minutes duration.


Mexico City Blues, chorus 193
Choral musings on Jack Keroac's Buddhist Jamming Mexico City Blues Classic Poem.

FairyTale 1
A Big Hand for Dr. Seuss, Please!
For Narrator, SATB choir, Flugal Horn, Bassoon, Bass Trombone and Tuba and 2 percussion.
Terry Riley also wrote the Seuss-esque text.


In C

The composition that launched the Minimalist movement "In C", with performing directions, in Terry's own manuscript and autographed.

Tread on the Trail
For any number and kinds of instruments played preferably by musicians with some Jazz experience. This one page score contains six lines out of which the performers construct a performance.

Olson 111
For any number of voices and instruments. A one page score with 30 patterns constructed on a cyclic poem. Was originally composed for a high school choir and orchestra. The world premiere can be heard on the Elision Fields CD, performed by the students of Nacka music school in Sweden.

String Trio (1961)
This was Terry's Graduate Thesis and was very much infected by the tape loop studies he was doing as part of the music created for Anna Halprin's Dance Company. Although definitely a forerunner of what was to become the repetitive style launched by IN C, it merges this incongruously with some post serialist textures.

She's So Heavy Variations
For String Orchestra and Harpsichord...A set of variations on the Lennon/McCartney thunder-gem.

Dorian Reeds
For solo soprano saxophone with digital delays
This work appeared on Terry's first ever LP recording in 1966 on the Mass Art label and released later on the Organ of Corti label's Terry Riley Archive. Dorian Reeds is a predecessor of Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band. It grew out of early experiments that Terry had begun in 1963 with long looping tape delays that Terry dubbed, THE TIME LAG ACCUMULATOR. The score was reconstructed by Ulrich Krieger from the Mass Art LP and is offered here with permission by Mr. Krieger. A historical monument from the era of Psychedellia.  

Performance materials for large forces are available on rental only:
  String Orchestra
  Chorus and Orchestra
  Chorus and Ensemble

Use the Word DOC or Acrobat PDF forms to submit Rental Requests. Complete the Rental Form and send via E-mail or fax -- instructions are provided on the form.

Rental Form in Word DOC
format (fill out on computer)
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Rental orders are confirmed with a rental agreement sent within a week from receipt of request.
Materials for works with fewer performers are available for sale by the Library as Print-on-Demand:
  Calligraphic Scores
  String Quartets
  Saxophone Quartets
  Chamber Music
  Piano Four-Hands
  Solo Piano
  Works for Guitar
  Chorus Alone (10 copies is the minimum Print-on-Demand choral octavo order)

Use the Word DOC or Acrobat PDF forms to submit Print-on-Demand orders. Complete the Print-on-Demand form and send via E-mail or fax -- instructions are provided on the form.

Print-on-Demand Form in Word DOC format (fill out on computer)
Print-on-Demand Form in Acrobat PDF format (print and fill out by hand)
Print-on-Demand music is shipped about two weeks after orders are received.
Please note that the prices listed for scores and parts on TerryRiley.net have changed.
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